Friday, October 2, 2009

Best laid plans...

It's not only mice and men who make plans... women do, too.

Take this weekend, for instance: Friday night plans to practice with my minstrel group 100 miles east; Saturday plans to attend an event with my photographer-boyfriend, 100 miles west. Of course, all the other every-weekend responsibilities borne by all working women needed to fit in somewhere around those appointments, plus finishing accounting homework before my class Monday night.

Makes ME tired just to think about it. Guess my body agreed, because I woke up with an extremely sore throat this morning. ~~sigh~~

My chef friends recommended chicken soup, Zicam, Vitamin C and zinc lozenges. I acknowledge that chicken soup is generally regarded as a home remedy that works, however, it is not the first idea that springs to a vegetarian's mind. Going to the store to buy Zicam is not going to happen today, either. I do have the last two items in stock, and took both yesterday, when my throat was just a teeny bit sore.

Today, I opted for a couple of my other favorite sore throat remedies: a throat compress, and hot green tea with honey and Trader Joe's Lemon Ginger Echinacea juice. After a quart of this drink, swallowing is not nearly as painful as it was before.

TJ's is one of my favorite shopping destinations, and I manage to go to one of their Chicago locations about once a month. I buy most of my nuts and dried fruit there, both for freshness and because their cost is lower than other stores where I can find these.

By now, you are probably asking, what in the world is a throat compress? It is a very simple device, consisting of a long strip of wool, long enough and wide enough to wrap all the way around the neck of the sore throat sufferer, and a slightly narrower strip of cotton. The wool can be a strip of heavy wool cloth, a piece from an old pair of wool long johns or a thin wool blanket - you get the idea. A man's cotton handkerchief is ideal for the cotton layer, if you have one. If not, a strip from a flour sack tea towel, or something like that, will work.

Dampen the cotton with COLD water - yep, has to be cold - and wrap it around the neck. Some people cover this with a strip of plastic, then wrap the wool strip over that, and pin the end in place. The wet cloth will warm, and then dry. At this point, the cloth can be dipped in cold water again and the throat compress reapplied, or the neck can be rubbed with a cold wet washcloth to finish off.

The physiology behind this, is that as the cloth heats, extra blood is drawn to the area, bringing white blood cells that fight infection, and also carrying off disease and waste. Rubbing the neck with the cold wet washcloth at the end of treatment helps to speed that extra blood flow back to the heart and lungs for cleansing and recirculation.

1 comment:

  1. I get to be your first follower! Just stopping by to say hi, and let you know I returned the NaNoWriMo buddy request. Good to see folks I know from around the net, also doing NaNo and Blogger! Thanks for the buddy request. See ya around the net!

    ~Wendy aka EelKat